"Everyone is worth something. No matter how beaten, trampled upon, no matter how worthless and guilty they may feel.”
Okay, so Now you've read that, you can read this chapter. I hope you like it, I put a lot of effort into that aforementioned story (and did I mention, I got the attention of the one and only, the AMAZING CosmicZombie on it?!) So, read and rate and review (blahblahblah) both of these stories, please? You'll get Frerard fluffy oneshots which I've been considering writing?
Chapter 7; What You're Worth
“Seriously, how boring could this get?” I murmured. Penina nodded, her face resting on her hand. We were sitting next to each other in English the next day. The teacher had decided that the best thing to do was to replay the ‘key scenes’ Jane Eyre again; i.e, leaving out anything exciting and studying on the icky boring lovey bits.
“Why is it all so fucking long?” asked Frank, rocking on the back legs of his chair.
“This mushy stuff is what we live for, isn’t it?” drawled Jenna, not even attempting to put any emotion in her voice. I laughed.
“I don’t get why we have to study this topic,” said Frank, checking his watch.
“No, neither do I.”
“Does anyone ever understand English topics?”
“Why couldn’t he have died in the fire?” I asked, as Jane ran up to hill to find Mr Rochester waiting for her in the final scene. “It would save about half an hour of all the boredom.”
“Why couldn’t the insane wife just have killed both of them right at the beginning when she first escaped?” suggested Jenna. Penina laughed.
“That’s a very good point. Then we wouldn’t have to do this.”
“But then the English department would just come up with something completely the same and we’d still be dying from unprofitable boredom.”
“You realise English is pretty easy once you get the hang of it?” I said. Jenna, Penina and Frank just stared at me incredulously. “What? It is! All you need to do is take one word or description and make up some stupid boring shit. For example, the carpet was red... to visualise the person’s anger and hatred towards the blah blah blah...”
“Just make up some crap. The more you waffle on about shit, the better the teachers like you.”
“Oh! I was wondering how you got managed all those passes on your English essays,” said Penina.
“Tricks of the trade, love.”
“Okay, guys!” said the teacher, yanking the curtains back open, letting light into the room.
“Aggh!” I said, hiding my face under my hands. “Get rid of the fucking light!” My three friends laughed, and Penina held up her book to keep the light from blasting into my eyes.
“Fucking vampire,” muttered Candace.
“Oh, shut up,” said Jenna, yawning as the lights switched on as well. Candace turned around and sneered at us. I pulled a face at her back.
“So, I won’t be seeing you guys again until Friday, so over tonight and Thursday, I want you to each read through Chapter 14 of Jane Eyre. Don’t give me that!” said the teacher as the class groaned in unison. “This booklet contains the four key scenes in the entire story. You can read the rest if you like, but you only need to read Chapter 14 for Friday.”
“Oh god,” I said, rubbing my eyes.
“What’s next? Please say it’s something good,” said Frank, looking across at me and Jenna with tired eyes.
“We have different timetables, look at your own,” I said, balancing my pencil on my upper lip like a moustache.
“We have history,” said Jenna, packing up her bags. “I know you two have the same lesson because we had it on Monday.”
“Oh, I see!” The bell rang to signal the end of the period, and the whole class rumbled to get out of the room.
“Hey!” said the teacher, standing in the doorway, holding a stack of Jane Eyre booklets. Oh, for crying out loud... he handed one to each of us as we exited.
“You know what? We could do this at lunchtime,” said Jenna, as we reached our lockers. Penina raised an eyebrow.
“Are you insane?”
“No, it means we can get it over and done with quickly, and we don’t have to worry about it.”
“Typical Jenna,” I said, closing my locker.
“What’s up?” asked Frank, as we began to walk towards History together.
“She’s suggesting we do reading at lunchtime.”
“That’s not such a bad idea, really.”
“What?! You don’t work at lunchtime,” I said. “And anyway, it’s only reading.”
“I suppose...” Frank and I settled down in our spot at the back of the classroom, waiting for the rest of the class to arrive.
“How you enjoying school so far then?” I asked, putting my feet on the table.
“Pretty good. People here are so different. They don’t give you guys any shit,” he said.
“They tend not to, they’re all either scared of or attracted to us,” I said, frowning. Frank giggled; I had to refrain from looking at him, because the sight of his beautiful smiling face might have sent me into a giggly teenage-girl style shock.
“I can see why...” he said. My heart skipped a beat.
“Anyone here catch your eye?” I asked, raising and eyebrow suggestively. Frank instantly turned red. “I knew it! Who is it? She cute? Anyone we hang around with?”
“Um, no...” Frank had turned the colour of a lobster.
“Anyone I might know?”
“Yes,” he said. I let a smirk creep onto my face. “Don’t look at me like that! I’m allowed to think someone’s... um...”
“Uhh.... yeah, something like that.” I could almost feel the heat radiating off of his face.
“What’s wrong? It’s normal to fancy someone,” I said, trying to bury the disappointment that was rising in my chest. “Who is it?”
“Why do you want to know?” Ooh, double whammy.
“Just curious,” I said, shrugging. “Whoever it is, I’m sure she’d be cool with it. You’re a pretty neat dude.”
“Thanks, I suppose...”
“What’s the matter, then?”
“What makes you so sure that... um, never mind,” said Frank, turning his attention to the front as Miss James walked in.
“What’s wrong?” I said, sitting up, now concerned. Frank was actually staring to look worried.
“Are you homophobic, Gerard?” he asked, surprising me a little. My heard began to pound erratically as he’d asked that; there’s normally only one follow-up after THAT question was asked...
“No,” I said, keeping my voice low. “Why would I be?”
“It’s just... um...”
“Ash Ruebeun Sirius, sit your butt down, you’re late!” said Miss James, perching herself on her desk. The tall, pale boy who’d just walked in nodded and sat down in a seat a table across from us. I turned and looked back at Frank, waiting for his reply, when I noticed that the blush had returned to his pale cheeks.
“Hang on... what?!” I asked, switching my gaze between him and Ash. Frank said nothing, keeping his eyes firmly fixated on the table in front of him.
“What?” he asked, not turning his head.
“You... what? Ash? What’s going on?” I asked, looking at the black-haired boy sitting near us. “You... like him?”
“No,” said Frank.
“Denial is the first sign,” I murmured, smiling slightly to hide the crushing disappointment that began to sink down on my stomach. Frank looked at me coolly, his face carefully blank of expression.
“If you say so.”
To say I was confused is an understatement. I wasn’t exactly sure what had just happened... then it clicked in my head. Did Frank like Ash? But if so, why had he remained so level-headed about it when I’d asked him? Unless he wasn’t denying it. But if he wasn’t denying it, why had he said no? And why had he gone so red when I’d asked him?
“Gerard, for the last time!” said Miss James, flicking a rubber band at me.
“Owch! What was that for?” I asked, rubbing my head. Ray and Jenna were laughing in front of me, and Frank was grinning.
“I’ve told you five times to get your feet off the table, but you’re off in your own little dream world,” she said. I blushed and removed my feet.
“Having fun in there?” asked Bob from the next table, reaching over and knocking on the side of my head. I batted his hand away irritably.
“Okay, now Gerard’s back with us, I have this issue I want to talk about. Now, I’ve recently come across the fact that, over the holidays, there were people who were having some self-esteem issues,” said Miss James. My blush and embarrassed smile instantly fell off of my face. I knew exactly who she was talking about.
“How is that relevant?” asked Candace. Sapphire nodded in agreement.
“Well, because it’s something I felt I should address. She’s not in this class, but I’ve spoken to her and I thought it was something that ought to be shared, something that everyone else ought to think about. I know for a fact her closest friend is in this class, but I won’t tell you who, to respect her privacy.” Miss James looked directly at me for a split second, before turning away. The rest of the class looked completely confused.
“You know what she’s talking about,” Frank whispered into my ear, having caught my facial expression. I nodded subtly. Frank raised his eyebrow, but I just shook my head.
“I’ll tell you after. If I’m allowed, I mean. I wouldn’t want to disrespect her privacy.”
“Guys!” said Miss James, waiting for the chatter to die down. “I’m trying to make point here. The girl in question had to deal with a terrible family tragedy. She accepted responsibility for the incident, even though it wasn’t her fault. She had to deal with the guilt of it, and she was also getting bullied at the time. All of this really piled up and damaged her self-esteem.”
“What are you getting at?” asked Ray.
“I’m saying, that she had to deal with all of this. Over the summer, I had to teach her a message, that message being the fact that everyone is worth something,” said Miss James, perching on the edge of her desk. “No matter how beaten, trampled upon, no matter how worthless and guilty they may feel.”
“What do you mean?” asked Jenna. Miss James bit her lip, thinking for a moment, before standing up and drawing a £20 note from her purse.
“If I were to offer this money to you guys, who would take it?” All of the hands in the classroom went up, including my own. Miss James looked around, nodded, and scrunched up the note in her hand. “Now would you take it?” Most of the class nodded. Miss James threw the money on the floor and stepped on it. “It’s still worth £20. Who would still take it?”
A few hands had gone down by this point, but most people nodded - they’d still take the money.
“Candace, why would you take it?” asked Miss James.
“Because it’s still £20! It’s still money, I can still use it,” said Candace. Miss James snapped her fingers in triumph, smiling.
“Exactly my point! No matter how many times I’ve scrunched up this note, no matter how long I ignore it for or how many times I walk over it, it’s still worth £20!”
“So, I’m saying that it’s the same with people! It does not matter how much a person’s been beaten, or made to feel bad, or ignored, or walked over, they’re still worth the same! Sure, they’re appearance is diminished, they don’t seem to be worth the same, but they still are! Like this £20 note,” she said, holding up the crumpled piece of paper. “This money is still worth exactly the same as it did when it was fresh and new. It’s still worth the same. And it’s exactly the same concept with people.”
The class was quiet after her little speech. Candace and Sapphire both had frowns on their faces, but they were frowns not of disapproval, but of contemplation. Jenna, Ray and Bob were talking quietly and quickly between themselves, and Frank was watching me with an expectant expression on her face.
“So? Who was she talking about?” he asked, as Miss James started the lesson.
“I’m not sure if I should tell you...”
“Tell me and I’ll tell you who it is you were bugging me about at the start. But only after you’ve explained,” said Frank. That sparked my curiosity.
“I can tell you who it is, but I’ll have to ask her to explain the story herself. I’m not sure I should tell it myself,” I said.
“Well, who is it?”
I want to thank my wonderful English teacher, Mr Wignal, for that money comparison! Oh, he really is the best teacher. He did exactly what Miss James did, just a whole lot more enthusiastic, and my class actually began cheering when he finished! He's seriously, just, pure awesome. And yes, he does flick rubber bands and erasers at people.
Anyway, I hope you liked this, and my new story. Rate and Review, and I love you guys! If you do, I'll update quicker, and the more reviews directly translates to the upcoming levels of fluffiness ;D